The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion “Freedom Tower – “No Wave Dance Party 2015”
Whilst The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion may have been around for nearly a quarter of a century, there seems to have been no dampening in their spirit or their desire to continue rocking and rolling. This album keeps true to their New York roots in being big, diverse, exciting and enticing, all at the same time.
Despite the morbid title of opening song “Funeral” it is a fairly explosive opening number. It’s rooted in the blues but takes in a whole lot of influences from rock to funk to R N B and back again. Songs like “Wax Dummy” and “Do The Get Down” keep the bombastic style going and the mixture of sounds and styles combining to form an in your face cacophony of noise.
The band then really hit the psychedelic funk button on tracks like “White Jesus”, “Crossroad Hop” and “The Ballad Of Joe Buck”. They recall a sound which weirdly sounds like what would have happened if The Beastie Boys were a group of dirty blues rockers rather than frat metal brats. It’s a total combustion of sounds that the band somehow manage to mangle in to really great coherent songs.
“Bellevue Baby” is about as straightforward as the band get on this album. This time it’s a monster of a soulful rocker that has an almost seventies rock feel to it. That’s a feel which is also present on the final track “Cooking For Television”, but this tune also contains the swirling psychedelic blues rock which leaves a massive imprint all over this album.
The reference to ‘Blues’ and ‘Explosion ‘in the band’s name are certainly very apt. This isn’t a quiet, sensitive album but instead is an in your face, funk, blues-rock triumph of noise. In many ways it almost feels like you are listening to a mash up mix tape given the variety of styles and influences. There is a sense of dirty blues rock at its core but it is overloaded with a whole range of influences from seventies rock to modern RNB as well as traditional rhythm and blues. It all makes for a wild and crazy listen.